Former Councilwoman Cassandra Jones announces West Chester mayoral bid

By Fran Maye, Daily Local News, 3/01/17

WEST CHESTER >> Cassandra Jones, a former two-term West Chester councilwoman, has announced her candidacy for mayor of West Chester.

“I think I am the best qualified candidate,” said Jones, who completed her second four-year term as a member of West Chester Borough Council, representing Ward 2, in December of 2015. “I want to continue to work on issues I have been working on for the past eight years, and to make sure there are financial resources available to all the wards.”

During her first term, Jones worked with borough colleagues on many projects including successfully closing a $1 million budget deficit without borrowing from reserve funds, resulting in a balanced budget for 2012.

In her last four-year term, voter registrations increased by 41 percent in Ward 2, representing the largest increase in any ward in the borough. She worked with citizens, borough officials and business leaders to develop the recently approved 10-year comprehensive plan. She has also worked to determine the best redevelopment ideas for the Wyeth property.

Since the mayor oversees the police department, Jones said Police Chief Scott Bohn has done a great job, but she would like to see a bit more diversity….

read more at Daily Local News

West Chester councilwoman speaks on gun violence

by Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News, 2/18/13

Affected by gun violence in her life, West Chester Borough Council Vice President Cassandra Jones took to Washington D.C. last week to speak to legislators on the current high profile topic of gun legislation.
Courtesy photo West Chester Borough Council Vice President Cassandra Jones meets with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Jones was one of 120 people, all victims of gun violence, who were invited to the White House Tuesday as part of an effort organized by the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” Jones said. “It was phenomenal.”

Attendees included victims of the Aurora Colo. shooting, the Newtown Conn. Shooting and Arizona shooting.
RELATED ASSETS

When Jones was six years old, her mother was shot. While she survived, Jones said the shooting handicapped her mother and came with complications that contributed to her early death at 43.

Until recently Jones said she was unable to remember or deal with the memory of her mother being shot.

But through the tool of writing, Jones has opened up that chapter of her past. Jones said she has been in the process of writing an autobiography for a number of years now and recently added to it which included her story of the shooting. Jones said she is writing the book as a tribute to her mother.

“I’m really very passionate about this issue because I’m the survivor,” Jones said.

In January, Borough Council responded to the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn. by passing a resolution that calls for new gun legislation.

The 3-page resolution, brought to council by Mayor Carolyn Comitta, highlights three areas of action: the passage of the Fix Gun Checks Act, which would require a background check for every gun sale and ensure that all criminals and other dangerous people who are prohibited from buying a gun are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; passage of legislation that would keep military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets; and legislation that would make gun trafficking a federal crime. …

read more at Daily Local News

photo supplied by Cassandra Jones:

CJones :MObama

Cassandra with FLOTUS (Michelle Obama!)

“I had the most amazing experiences last week in DC. Mayors Against Illegal Guns was invited to a congressional hearing, to a White House briefing and then to a watch party for the Presidents’ State of the Union speech.

So fulfilling to be a part of these national conversations on violence among our youth in this country. God will give you the desires of your heart!”

Cassandra Jones

  • West Chester Borough Democratic Committee
    Committeeperson, Ward 2
  • Member of West Chester Borough Council

CassandraW:FLOTUS

CassandraW:FLOTUS2

Cassandra Jones for Bret Binder

letter to West Chester Democrats

It is my honor and privilege to endorse Bret Binder, the Democratic Party candidate for State Representative in the 156th District. While Bret and I ran against one another in the Primary Election, we kept things civil, honest, and forthright, because that’s the only way Bret and I know how to live our lives. Although Bret won the primary, I did not lose heart, because I know Bret will make a fine State Representative.

Bret is a lifelong Pennsylvanian and Democrat, and he is committed to fighting for the people of the 156th District. For these reasons, I will be campaigning with Bret and knocking on doors leading up to the election on November 6th. Likewise, I hope that you will also join forces with Bret’s campaign.

This is an important election and a critical time for our country. While many of us may be focused on the presidential race, we must remember the impact of local elections. The recent budget cuts to public education and social services, attacks on women’s rights and on our civil liberties, and the environmental give-away of our Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits demonstrate the ways in which Harrisburg is failing to represent our best interests. This local election for State Representative is considered to be the most important House race in Pennsylvania. Consequently, Bret must win, and I am confident that he will win with the support of people like you.

Bret has pledged to protect women’s rights, and has spoken out strongly against the invasive ultrasound bill which his opponent co-sponsored. He is also committed to fighting against voter suppression laws that have been designed to disenfranchise minorities and the elderly voters.

As a product of Pennsylvania public schools, Bret is also a strong supporter of our public education system. In addition, he will sponsor legislation to protect the environment, ensuring that Marcellus Shale drillers give back to Pennsylvania through a fair severance tax and are held accountable for safe drilling practices. As a small business owner, Bret understands the importance of small businesses — they are the backbone of our local, state, and national economy. Bret understands the need to earn a sustainable and livable wage and is committed to helping Pennsylvanians get back to work. I know Bret to be a creative and intelligent thinker. It’s time to bring a problem solver to Harrisburg, a problem solver like Bret Binder.

Please visit Bret’s website at www.bretbinderforpa.com; visit and like Bret’s Facebook page through the website; or give the campaign a call at (610)-696-5904 to find out how you can help. And, most importantly, vote for Bret Binder on November 6th.

Sincerely,

Cassandra Jones,
Ward 2E Democratic Committeeperson

Binder tops Jones in 156th Democratic primary

by Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News, 4/25/12

In a close primary, Bret Binder emerged as the nominated Democratic candidate for the 156th state representative district.

The 156th district is comprised of East Goshen, East Bradford, West Goshen and the West Chester Borough.

Binder defeated Cassandra Jones in the primary Tuesday by a tally of 1,251 votes to 1,114 for Jones.

The results are unofficial until certified by the Board of Elections.

“I’m thrilled,” Binder said. “It was a close race and I’m honored to represent the people of Chester County.”

Binder, 33, grew up in Lower Merion and is a resident of East Bradford. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in economics and went to Villanova Law School. He clerked for a few years with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and now has his own law practice in East Bradford. He also partly owns a dessert shop in Havertown and a bowling alley in Philadelphia.

“People are ready for change and I think I can be that change,” Binder said.

Binder’s campaign focused primarily on three big issues: education, the environment and the economy. He opposes the proposed budget cuts to education and said other areas must be looked into first.

As to the environment, Binder said the state must do a better job of controlling areas such as Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction.

Binder advocates a tax on the Marcellus Shale. Through the tax, the money raised could be given to education and the rest would be in a reserve fund.

Voter turnout in the district was described as low by both Republican and Democratic committeepersons. Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans in the borough almost 3 to 1 by some accounts, though East Goshen reported an opposite ratio.

Some pointed to the weather as a potential deterrent, though most chalked it up to just being an “apathetic” voting year.

Both Binder and Jones had their supporters, though some voters in the borough were reticent to discuss their decision.

“That’s my little secret,” revealed one voter from the second ward in the borough.

On a whole, Jones carried the borough vote by almost 70 percent, though Binder was strong in the other municipalities.

Jones, 55, has lived in West Chester since 1999 and has two daughters. She is serving her fifth year on Borough Council and her first as council vice president. She has worked for Cheyney University for the past seven years as a project manager and program director. Jones has also held positions in government that include involvement in the National League of Cities, the Human Development Committee and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials.

Binder said it was when he clerked with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that he first became interested in running for office, having seen some the effects of poorly drafted legislation.

“I’m ready to take my skills, my passion, and my dedication to Harrisburg to do a better job,” Binder said.

Binder will now face incumbent state Rep. Dan Truitt, D-156th of East Goshen in the general election come November. Truitt won the Republican primary unopposed Tuesday.

Democrats Jones, Binder vie for 156th District nod


by Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News, 4/17/12

 

Two candidates are vying to win the Democratic primary for the 156th District state House seat.

Cassandra Jones or Bret Binder will emerge April 25 to challenge incumbent state Rep. Dan Truitt, R-156th of East Goshen, in November.

Binder said his campaign is focused primarily on education, the environment and the economy. He opposes the proposed budget cuts to education and said other areas need to be addressed first.

As to the environment, Binder said the state must do a better job of controlling areas such as Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction.

“Texas and West Virginia tax around 5 to 6 percent, and they’re not considered to be unfriendly to big gas and oil,” Binder said. “We can certainly charge at least that amount or more.”

From the revenue raised through this tax, Binder said, he would give some to education and save the rest in a reserve fund.

Jones said her primary goal is restoring funding to education.

“I just think we are so off balanced and when you start to connect the dots from education to jobs or education to prison or education to poverty, it just doesn’t make sense to cut funding in those areas,” Jones said. “And if we’re going to cut funding, we better have a good plan on how we’re going to streamline our education process.”

Jones said her proven track record, experiences and involvement set her apart as a candidate.

As a borough councilwoman, Jones said, she has helped close a $1 million budget gap and build a $12 million parking garage. She said she has helped raise voter turnout and registration in the east part of the borough 40 percent.

Jones said she has voted in favor of the people most of the time and never for anything that would be a detriment to the community. Jones said she also prides herself in being a person who cares about the welfare of all people.

“When people know that you care, then they’ll listen to you because they care about what you know,” Jones said.

Binder said he first became interested in running from his time spent clerking Pennsylvania Supreme Court. There he would become frustrated at how unconstitutional and poorly drafted some of the laws were. He then decided he would like to actually be a part of writing the law better.

This legal background is what he says sets him apart from the other candidates and even the state house.

“I really do care about this, I have a true passion for it and I believe I can do better for Pennsylvanians,” Binder said. “I’ve been willing to put in the time, I love going out and knocking on doors.”

Binder, 33, grew up in Lower Merion and is a resident of East Bradford. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in economics and went to Villanova Law School. He clerked for a few years with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and now has his own law practice in East Bradford. He also partly owns a desert shop in Havertown and a bowling alley in Philadelphia.

Jones, 55, has lived in the West Chester Borough since 1999 and has two daughters. She is serving her fifth year on Borough Council and her first as council vice president. She has worked for Cheyney University for the past seven years as a project manager and program director. Jones has also held positions in government that include involvement in the National League of Cities, the Human Development Committee and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials.

Democrats appeal for 156th District nomination

by Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News, 4/16/12

Two hopefuls vying for the Democratic nomination for the state House 156th District seat squared off in a forum Sunday afternoon at borough hall.

Organized by the Chester County League of Women Voters, candidates Cassandra Jones and Bret Binder, both lifelong Democrats, took turns answering questions written by audience members.

Jones opened by highlighting the issues of education, jobs, health care and the environment, noting she believes the commonwealth can benefit from stronger policies in these matters.

“With my background in government, I believe I can deal with these issues immediately,” Jones said.

A borough resident, Jones just began her fifth year on Borough Council and serves as the council’s vice president.

Binder, who has a law firm in East Bradford in addition to having stakes in a bowling alley and dessert shops, said he understands the needs of small businesses and will focus on education and the environment. After law school, Binder clerked for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where he said he first became interested in running for office after having seen the effects of poorly drafted legislation.

“I’m ready to take my skills, my passion and my dedication to Harrisburg to do a better job,” he said.

A majority of the questions asked during the forum centered on education in the commonwealth. The candidates took turns responding to their opinions on vouchers, charter schools and budget cuts….

read more: Daily Local News

OUR CANDIDATE FOR THE 156th!

1/24/12 email from Stephanie Markstein, Chair, West Chester Borough Democratic Committee—

Cassandra JonesWC Borough Committee Members,

It is my pleasure to announce that our own Cassandra Jones will be seeking the endorsement of the Chester County Democratic Committee as a candidate for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 156.

We are fortunate to have her running in this important race against Dan Truitt. Please join me in wishing Cassandra well as she begins this new chapter.

And, Cassandra, on behalf of the West Chester Democratic Committee, may I offer you our full support and enthusiasm.  Please let us know how we can help!